Teachers are supposedly role models.
At least that’s what everyone told me.
Maybe I’ve just had bad luck in life but I’ve only run into a handful of teachers I’d consider putting into that category.
Most of my education was teachers feeding me the same old cliches that even they never followed growing up. Then when I failed to fall in line, they’d have a problem with it.
Well… for years I was convinced I was wrong and they were right. They told me one thing and I pushed aside my natural instincts and obliged.
Here is the thing:
It never worked.
It wasn’t until I took my life into my own hands that I started to see how things really came together. I started looking at the situation logically and accepted the things that I saw for myself. I looked at the data and let that speak for itself. I put the blind faith in teachers to bed.
I love a good teacher as much as the next girl but let’s face it, sometimes they’re way wrong.
1. You’re not going to use this in life.
No one uses most of the skills they learn in school.
No… engineers don’t give a darn toot about American history. They don’t use it in their job. They don’t see it. They don’t hear about it. They don’t care.
Heck… I’ve asked enough engineers to know… most engineers barely use serious math on a regular basis. (They just need to know when an answer is way off because they screwed up using their calculators.)
Most skills you’re learning will be useless in life.
No… that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn them.
You should learn them because that’s the hoop you need to jump through to graduate. Hoop jumping is a skill that will help you all the way through life.
2. You don’t need to work harder.
This classic piece of teacher “advice” is pretty much always just an insult.
Teachers tell students that they need to study more or work harder when the teacher has absolutely no conception of how long or hard the student already studies.
It’s dumb advice.
Study more? If you’re stressed out enough to be asking for help then I’m going to take a guess you’ve already tried that, right?
When you can’t learn it, something else is wrong.
3. Don’t go to college for “what you love.”
Okay… let me clarify…
If you’re not already wealthy then don’t go to college for “what you love.”
That’s how you end up 25 years old with 100k in debt and no job. It would have been better for you never to even go to college.
College is an investment (for most of us.)
Investments aren’t investments if they don’t provide a return.
Maybe you know getting that college can help you get that job you love (like pro-gamer or life guard of the stars) but usually that’s not the case.
Jobs pay more when fewer people want to do them. That higher pay gives you the freedom to go to college for whatever you love in the future responsibly because you’ll be able to afford it.
That doesn’t mean chase the money. Balance is good. It’s just silly to assume every person will be able to make a satisfactory career out of doing “what they love.”
4. Don’t always listen in class.
I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying this but sometimes…
Some teachers can’t teach.
They may be capable of standing up and lecturing but a lecture that no one can pay attention to might as well be no lecture at all.
Certainly, you shouldn’t be rude to your teachers. (That would just hurt your grade because they will notice.)
Just don’t be afraid to keep your mind doing something useful when you know the teacher isn’t doing anything useful.
(Be polite about it.)
5. Learning doesn’t suck.
Have you ever seen your teacher complain that students are talking through their class?
“EXCUSE ME… I’m sorry to interrupt!” they’ll say with a devious sarcasm.
Sometimes it’s funny but we shouldn’t lose sight of the obvious.
If students aren’t paying attention then something is wrong with the lecture.
People don’t talk about other stuff when the teacher is doing their job.
Teachers aren’t professional lecturers.
They’re supposed to be teaching.
Teaching isn’t just listing facts.
It’s about presenting the facts in a good way for the students to learn.
Sure… those students that always talk through classes and couldn’t care less aren’t ever going to learn because they don’t care but when someone is seriously interested in a subject, they’re not going to get distracted.
I’ve had teachers that students would never talk over because they’re too damn busy listening.
I’ve had teachers that I’d go to class to listen to for fun.
Learning is supposed to be an emotional thing. Learning can be fun.
Learning, when it’s at its best, is fun.
When the teacher fails to live up to that standard they’re tempted to blame you.
They’ll say that you’re not listening. Maybe that is a part of it but again, why aren’t you listening? Could it be that the teacher still isn’t saying anything that you want to listen to?
I know you can’t get through school with learning being a solely fun experience.
That’s the old Mark Twain (unverified) thought:
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
School will require you to jump through some hoops.
Once you notice that they’re just hoops to jump through, it actually gets easier.
School isn’t life or death. It’s just following instructions to the best of your ability.
Grades are just scores.
Academics is a game.
Learning is real life.
You can do extraordinary things with or without good grades. It’s just a matter of learning a few simple strategies.
That being said, the same strategies that you use to score high can be the same strategies you use to become successful in life.
Those are the kinds of strategies we teach on this blog. ;D